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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

975 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 975
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 40
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 975 | Reviews: 661
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden orange Color. Almost like a burnt sienna. Nit a whole lot of head due to the tulip glass.

On the nose I'm getting floral notes along with some caramel or cracker.

Taste is caramel, toffee, musk, floral hops, grass, toast and butter, peanut brittle, and spice. This is not to say that hops are not present! They are, and they're glorious.

This beer goes down smoothly. It's medium bodied and very creamy. The flavor adds to the smoothness.

I think this beer is underrated. This is one of the best English pale ales on the market. Flavor is complex as hell and keeps me wanting more.

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Smith has been making their beers for hundreds of years and has their stuff together. Consistently perfect in everyway.

Photo of 31Sam13
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite friends from across the pond. Sessionable, very drinkable. I even love the bottles!

Photo of SammySmith
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To me, it's the perfect beverage. I've been drinking it since 1982 when I was stationed in England while in the US Air Force.

Photo of enjambed
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

Serving: Undated cold bottle, standard pint glass

Look: Mostly brown with orange highlights, and very hazy. It generally looks like iced tea. Moderate pour produces little head that soon disappears, lacing is moderate

Smell: This is new to my palate. It's like a combination of fruits and rich, burnt(?) caramel, also some metallic notes.

Taste: That burnt caramel flavor dominates, with some other flavors like fruits or maybe herbs. Also earthy. Finish is harsh.

Feel: Rather light, but not fully watery. Finish has a mouth-drying astringency like sucking on a tea bag, very unpleasant.

Overall: Not what I was expecting even for an English Pale Ale. The astringency is overpowering and unpleasant, and I had not had any beer, let alone a pale ale with such a strong caramel flavor. However, I suspect there was something wrong with this bottle: The color was darker than most others described it, the astringency was overpowering, even for an English Pale ale the hops were non-existent, and it really just seemed off. I'm leaving this review for future comparison to other English Pale Ales.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Jembetat in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear light amber, with a big 1.5 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like fruity English yeast, some slight skunkiness, and biscuity malts. No hop flavors in the aroma.

There's a bit more hop flavor in the taste, but it seems faded. When combined with the slight touch of skunkiness, it's easy to see that this might be an old bottle. It was sitting in a glass display case, after all. Still tastes alright, but has sort of an unpleasant astringent skunky aftertaste. The fruity English yeast flavors are on full display here, with some tea-like hop flavors. The malt flavor is light, but biscuity.

This one is medium bodied, and starts out with a crisp mouthfeel that unfortunately devolves later in the sip into sort a sweet honeyish and skunky mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

I've had much better from Sam Smith's- I'd like to try this in England, possibly- this was likely an old bottle.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Oak & Vine on 16 Ave in Calgary, only place so far in this city I have found this classic. Pours an amazing bronze amber hue, almost marmalade orange, with a lot of white foam. I had to rush to contain the initial fizzy blast but things very quickly settled down. Aroma was heady and multifaceted, with sweet malts, stone fruits, and earthy hops predominating. This beer is a classic quintessential English ale, with ample character and complexity. Earthy woody English hops lead the way with a hint of apricot (Goldings aroma) against a rich toffee backdrop, considerable crystal malt sweetness but a lot of hop character to provide balance. Some sour crabapple and marmalade citrus flavors add complexity. Dark fruit (raisin) character and diacetyl butterscotch emerge in the finish, along with a mineral bite and old wine fermented notes. Great tapestry of English beer flavors. Body medium thick, with a lingering syrupy sweetness. Lots of residual sugars here. I am an unabashed Samuel Smith fan and this is one of the classics of the genre. Bottles may come off as a bit "old" in flavor but the overall effect is that of a timeless examplar of one of the great beer styles of the world.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Clean copper with a 1.5 finger off white head with strong staying power. Sick lacing that clings for dear life.

S- Maltier than most pales I have had as the English style comes through. Most US pales pound the nose with hops, but that is not the case here. Toasted bread and burnt caramel. Some sweet notes come through. Light floral and pine

T- Earthy to say the least. Toasted breads, rich charred wood, herbal like hop presence. Smooth but bitterness not completely hidden. A true English style ale.

M- Fantastic feel. Light bordering on mid body. Perfect carbonation for the style. A bit more wet than the style dictates, but I don't mind.

O- An outstanding pale. Highly recommended for those that don't care to be bombarded with IBUs. A delicious herbal flavor.

Photo of dreamchaser
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A well executed, authentic pale ale. Sweet, malty aroma with notes of burnt sugar or molasses. Appearance is bright, clear copper, with a light, relatively fast-dissipating head. Flavour is quite sweet with a strong hop-layered finish, that lingers and hints at toffee. The balance is slightly toward bitter, but a well-balanced beer overall. The mouthfeel is generally light and effervescent, and contrasts sharply with the complexities within the malt and hop flavours.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Brewery pale ale pours a darker cooper color with a small lacing head. There is a floral aroma with a creamy note that Is full of nut and toffee notes, but its enjoyable. The taste has some floral notes, but it has a very unique okay undertone, and the flavor has some warmth from the alcohol, strong nut and toffee flavors. Easy to drink, just a tad watery. Overall its a pale, with some very unique flavors.

Photo of lsummers
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fantastic color of amber, copper. Somewhat cloudy with a nice one finger fluffy cream colored head. I love when lighter styles look flavorful.

Smells of some toffee biscuits. Very sweet with just a hint of some floral hop notes. Overall, bready, malty, sweet, and a little funky.

Taste is very nutty and creamy. Notes of toffee, brown sugar, and biscuit along with some slight dried fruit. Not much hop notes at all poking through the bready malt sweet notes. I wouldn't mind having some more hop notes, although I wonder if fresher the bottle the more hop notes you get. Having this fresh might have a lot to do with it.

Mouthfeel has some medium carbonation which helps the every so slight touch of hops on the flavor. There's not that much so it's nice to have a mouthfeel that accentuates that bitterness bite you get from hops. It's slighty creamy and feels somewhat fat. Mouthfeel is very nice and instantly reminds me I'm drinking an english pale.

Overall, a very enjoyable english pale. Samuel Smiths brewery seems to do nothing bad, they just have more offerings that are better. A solid English Pale Ale, but not my most favorite pale and definitely not my most favorite from this brewery. You should try this at least once.

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Amber/copper; huge foam on bottle opening, but didn't last in glass

Aroma: Malty; dried fruit; hints of butterscotch

Taste: Sligthly dry, bitter start moving quickly into malty, juicy, vinous fruit mid; finishes with a dry, nutty flavor

Remarks: Pretty well balanced; pretty good flavor overall

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Photo of rangerred
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle into an English pint.

Pours a crystal clear deep copper with a one finger fluffy off-white head. Ok head retention with a few streaks of lacing.

The aroma I feel is a little on the weak side and is full of dark fruit, caramel, and toast. I would have liked it all to be just a little more forward, however.

This same lack of excitement carries over into the taste. Nice dark fruit and some grassy hops up front quickly followed by toast and burnt caramel. A nice moderate bitterness lasts throughout adding to the burnt character. Full, slick mouthfeel ending with a bit of stickyness.

Overall, a decent offering from Samuel Smith but I find it a bit lacking. There are better examples out there.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

the glory of these beers is their price, less than 4 bucks per go? are you kidding me?! the quality to price point is unrivaled in the beer world. while some are outstanding, standard setters, others are just okay. this pale ale is somewhere in between. its clear in the pours, more red than copper, with a finger of off white bubbles that pop down to a thin skin before long. the nose is quintessentially English, with all the caramel malt dusty attic you could ever want, but with a welcomed touch of vanilla extract. the yeast doesn't really manifest itself until the flavor, neither do the hops. the yeast combines with the caramel malt to give a doughy cereal profile, while the hops finish the beer nice and bitter, balancing the vanilla expertly. tastes just a tad old at the end, but ill bet this is nearly perfect at the source on tap. thinner body, which im back and forth between liking and not, and airy carbonation that keeps this beer drinking easily. overall this isn't my favorite beer from sam smiths, but now that I have worked my well into their lineup, I can safely say that the quality of this brew is up to the high bar of the others. again, the economics cannot be beat.

Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Slightly hazy brilliant copper color. Minor activity and almost no head whatsoever

S: Amazingly robust chocolate and caramel. Unique to the stye, I am chewing on the malts before I take a sip.

T: A malt fans delight. Super complex starts like chocolate chandy and ends with a nice little hop crisp

M: Nice amount of carbonation keeps that sweet malt at bay and makes this highly session able

O: I have been really into the English session ales lately and this one is another treat.

Photo of Damian
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Drank from a 1pt. 2.7fl.oz./550 ml bottle
Served in a Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass
Thanks to my dad for this bottle

The beer poured a slightly hazed, deep crimson-amber. A two-finger crown of tight, frothy, beige colored foam topped the liquid and slowly faded to a lasting cap. Patches of lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was very British. A bit steely and quite mellow overall. Good dose of biscuity malts. Somewhat toasty. Mild toffee notes. Slightly fruity and moderately sweet.

The flavor profile was decent. Biscuity malts dominated. Some toffee. Touch of noble hops. Fruity in the center. Earthy, bittering hops came through in the finish. Crisp and drying.

The mouthfeel was slick, smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate. Medium bodied with a fine and mild effervescence.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale might be spot-on for the style, but I found it rather boring. If you have an affinity for British session ales, this might be your cup of tea.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale has a very thick, soapy, cream-colored head, lots of thick lacing rings left behind, and a somewhat hazy, amber appearance, with a few bubble streams and some little brown particles floating about. The aroma is pungent, sweet, bready, roasted, and full. Taste is of the same elements, with toffee and a pleasant, and even sharp, hop bitterness in the middle-to-end of the sip. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale finishes dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer!

RJT

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep red amber, very clear and with a nice tan head consisting of tiny bubbles that fade to a ring around the glass and a center cap for the rest of the drink. Lacing is a wide and uniform polka dot pattern, but very little of it.

The aroma is of dark fruits like figs and raisins with a caramel malt base and some nice bread to make you feel at home. As it warms, it becomes even more like you wanna put your feet up on the coffee table and drink in the atmosphere.

With the taste you can sort of make out the effect of the hard water as it seems to carry the light hop bitterness on top of a caramel malty, bready, figgy base. The bitterness is mild but apparent with the whole sip as the mild sweetness moves across the tongue and ends up finishing lightly dry with a little bitter at the back of the tongue. It's nicely mild and balanced well leaning a little more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is fairly moderate and maybe a little on the thin side allowing the bitter to slightly overtake the sweetness at first. I poured it too cold. As it warms up it becomes even better balanced. Carbonation is perfectly moderate leading to a lasting dry mild bitter finish. English hops for sure. My favourite.

Overall, I would say that this is close to being a world class beer if it were only a little more full bodied, but then it would not be a session-able pub beer would it? It gets a 4+ out of 5 from me!

You have to try this beer as it is pretty affordable and a classic! Get out there, drink good beer. Life is too short for the mundane!

Photo of Jadjunk
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture." Brewed in the style of an English Pale Ale. No bottle date. Available in 550ml single bottles.

Poured from a 550ml. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 44º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy/frothy copper-white head over a mild hazy orange amber body with plenty of vivacious carbonation. Retention is quite nice as the head thickens without settling through time. Lacing is thin but strong. A very enjoyable appearance. 4.25

(Smell) Doughy, biscuity malts, a notable hint of cider and vinegar qualities, evidently acidic. Some mild grain notes. Hard water aromatics. Faint earthy hop notes. Potency is medium. Smells right for the style, not particularly original but not underdone either. 3.75

(Taste) Doughy dry malts, some trace husky caramel & toffee sweetness, a mostly acidic bitterness, not so much hop profiles. Hard water qualities are mild with a mild acidity, good for drinkability's sake. Body depth is right for the style and the sweetness, while tame for this beer makes for a very drinkable English Pale Ale. It swings on the malt side, but it's enjoyable in its own regard. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mildly crisp, airy carbonation doesn't mangle the palate much. Body is just shy of medium for the style, below medium overall as well. Alcohol presence is low, pretty tame in this beer. Finish is mildly acidic, a bit doughy and faintly dry. 4

(Overall) This was my long delayed introduction to Samuel Smith's beers and I'm a little ashamed that I waited this long. The beer was impressive on most factors, as the flavor was mild, malty and enjoyable, the balance was nice and the textures were just mild enough to accent the flavor profile. It's a good deal at under 4 dollars a bottle. 3.75

Samuel Smith Old Brewery's
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
3.8/5.00

Photo of Premo88
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle (550 ml) poured into pub glass

L: clear reddish brown with tan head ... classic and beautiful. definite red in it; amber incarnate. my gosh is she pretty. not a huge head unless i pour it hard. small, tight bubbles of carbonation really pepper the surface.

S: as good as it gets. seriously, I don't see how a beer can smell anymore BEERY! no doubt, there's lots of malt here, but about halfway down, I'm smelling the hops.

T: uh-oh.

This is disappointing because it's off the charts in appearance and smell, but it simply lacks that special oommph finish of what I think of as a great pale ale. Very balanced, starts off with good bitter bite up front but quickly smooths out into some malty goodness. Where I think it goes wrong is it's not finishing up sweet enough for my tastes ... not how I remember from the the first time I tried it in the mid-1990s. It's much better than Old Speckled Hen, for what that's worth.

F: just fine ... good carbonation, good weight, not overly thick.

O: for such a perfect presentation, it lacks in the most important category: taste. It's not bad. Far from it. It's good, and at 5% abv, you could session the hell out of this taste and be happy. If you want a break from the hop-crazy American pale ales/IPAs/DIPAs, good ol' Sam Smith's will give you that at a decent price. (about 18 cents per oz. in my neck of the woods)

BUT my bet is I am going to find better at a cheaper price. Still, when in doubt, this brew is fine.

Photo of sfprint
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gushed out the top upon opening, but poured not much of a head. Mild carbonation, fairly transparent, dark strawberry in color. The scent, while not so strong, also reminds me of a not so sweet strawberry. Lovely but weak. Chocolate as well.

The taste has an unsweet juice like quality. Like an unsweet fruit tea, ale. A hair sour.

Mild carbonation, not dry, no sting.

Overall decent, but not nearly as special as everyone else seems to think.

Photo of HabiMendes
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The reddish-brown of this excellent beer looked very nice, but the soon-to-follow aroma... oh, it was impressive! The caramelized malty character shows itself so well, but yet so unobtrusively. We also have a background tofee-like smell. The controlled bitterness at the beginning, which precedes an unexpected, but real, carbonation impression at the palate, is very soothing actually. In the end, the hops appear more clearly, which is pleasant and refreshing. Fantastic beer!

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550 ml (1 pint) bottle, uncapped and poured into a Boulevard tulip glass. No bottled on date present.

A - Pours a rich robust copper color with a nice thick fizzing two and a half finger cream colored head.

S - Figs and dark fruit sweetness hits me at first. Alcohol smell, but a pleasing alcohol smell. Some roasted bready malts and nut scent in the backbone, to be sure. Roasted malts seem to become more dominant as the beer warms a bit.

T - Roasted malts and dark fruits. Very malty, well-watery finish with a hint of green apple sugars lingering for a bit. Slight hint of cream maybe as the beer begins to warm. Almost reminds me of this nice 18 year old bottle of Hermes Glogg (mulled wine) that I drank last summer. Not extraordinarily hoppy, like many of the pale ales that I have come to favor, but this beer has a well-crafted sweetness to it, and is definitely worth having.

M - Smooth, clean body. Dry finish, but not too dry. Again, the lingering taste of green apple sweetness and some dark cherry and fig sweetness complimenting one another well.

In all, a flavorful beer to be sure. Reminds me almost of the Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, only smoother and lighter in body. A nicely balanced beer, and easy sippin with a moderate 5.0% abv. I would probably opt for the Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout over this beer, but it was definitely worth checking out.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale ---4/5.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark copper color with a nice and thick cream colored head. Lots of lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted grain, pale malt, a hint of golden raisins and some freshly baked bread.

T: This isn't the hop bomb I've come to look for in pale ales, but it's sneaky good. Some toasted caramel malt, honey malt, and grain with just a touch of hop bitterness. Some fruity esters linger in the background. Finish is squeaky clean. Super drinkable.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden orange color with 2 fingers worth of rocky head

S: Slightly fruity yeast, pale malts, and some light earthy hops. Simple, but good

T: Follows the nose. Starts out with plenty of fruity goodness rounded out with pale malts and light earthy hops that provide a nice light bitterness. Again, fairly simple, but good

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A good little English pale with a nice profile and great drinkability. Worthy of the name and a purchase

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 975 ratings.